Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Those Were The Days

Sweetney has a post with a darling picture of her little one suffering from an ear infection. And looking at it brought all sorts of memories absolutely rushing back. Those days of pre-schoolers in footie jammies, all logy and lethargic and sick, with the illness making their eyes seem larger and more luminous, while their little bodies just sagged, warm and heavy.

Those were the days that we all stayed in our jammies and crawled into the big MamaBed. We'd turn on PBS kids, or Nick Jr. or Disney, with the volume very low, and we'd snuggle and snooze--waking up occasionally to watch something until we fell asleep again.

My little girlies wanted Mama to stay with them and snuggle when they didn't feel well, and since I am a champion napper, we had warm and quiet recuperating days when we got to be together. I'd get up and get food, and do some minimal housekeeping chores, but the important work of the day was to rest.

This is how I remember September 11, 2001. Bunny was home sick. I had been at a family reunion for the weekend, and had gotten home the previous afternoon. Pony was fine, and Mr. Sweetie took her to school and then he came home before work.

That was when the news hit of the planes in New York and D.C. Mr. Sweetie had spent several years working in D.C. and was absolutely glued to the television news. I came downstairs to get a drink for the Bunny, and I stood, momentarily transfixed by the images of the planes hitting the towers.

I had a choice: I knew I could not be a good caretaker and be absorbed in the breaking news. So that morning, I made a conscious choice to take care of my sick baby--and to continue to live in the cozy world of cartoons and snuggles, rather than being connected to the adult world of the news.

And that is my 9/11 memory: I missed out on a lot of the national community response, because I was needed elsewhere. And as I look back on the horror of that day, I like to think that what I did was what many of the people who lost their lives, their families, would have wanted the chance to do themselves: to take care of a child who depended on them to keep the world safe.

Perhaps my response to the event would have been different had I not had a sick child at home. I might have understood the impetus for war as a response to those attacks. As it is, though, I find comforat in the fact that, while hpeople do terrible things to each other, on eresponse we can always have is tto hold on tightly to our families.

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